Friday, November 30, 2007

Luck Be a Lady, Don't Die-Robert J. Randisi

Luck Be a Lady, Don't Die
Robert J. Randisi
Dunne, Dec 2007, $23.95
ISBN: 9780312360436

In 1960 during the filming of Ocean’s 11, Sands casino pit boss Eddie Gianelli helped Dean Martin with a problem (see EVERYBODY KILLS SOMEBODY SOMETIME). So when the leader of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra tells Dino he has a problem, Dino suggests Eddie.

Frank explains to Eddie he has a female problem that has nothing to do with the two women the press connects him with. He asks Eddie to help him, but the pit boss cannot fathom what Frank is saying about the dames until finally he says the lady in question has vanished. Gianelli and his New York protector, Jerry Epstein search for the missing female as someone is bumping off people connected to the Rat Pack; Epstein assumes Mafia Don Sam Giancana is involved as money is the root of a potential gang war between the mob and the pack.

The key to the second Rat Pack crime caper is Robert J. Randisi’s adoring homage of the members while also bringing them to life especially Frank this time. The story line is fast-paced while enabling the readers to meet the Rats up front and personal even as the original Ocean’s 11 film is about to hit the big screen and an apparent mob war between a gang that uses real bullets and a group that uses Hollywood glitter seems imminent. The mystery is light but fun as it is more a mechanism for the readers to meet the rat Pack so that baby boomers and other fans of the recent Ocean’s movies will enjoy LUCK BE A LADY, DON'T DIE.

Harriet Klausner